Before we can embark upon a journey of change, we need to discover the nature of the terrain through which we will navigate.
What is change?
Good question! Most of us have never really considered it.
“Shit happens!” could be a popular response, or “things get different”, “one thing turns into another”,
or the dictionary response is always worth a look, the Penguin Dictionary, amongst other not pertinent uses of the word, says “an alteration; a substitution; variety or novelty”. That doesn’t seem to get us any closer to understanding the nature of change.
I think we will have to work through this one ourselves.
First, lets limit ourselves to our area of interest, personal and planetary change, and the links between them. For that is the type of change that I think is of fundamental importance at this historical moment.
What types of change are there?
There are two very important general types of change for our journey.
Firstly (and obviously), there is unconscious change that happens constantly, unobserved and unaffected by ourselves. Taking place all around us, every second of the day, obeying the physical laws of the universe – alteration caused by the existence of time and to which all creatures and substances are enslaved. Nothing we can do about that one, just try to keep it in mind and work with it.
Secondly, and importantly for us, is conscious change. Change that has been crafted by a sentient mind. Change that is made through decision; definitive action, or lack of action, by a consciousness, both human and animal (much harder to discern when animals make conscious decisions, but they do, although few of them directly effect us).
Conscious Change operates within and in tandem with Unconscious Change. As the situation seems to our present knowledge, the existence of Conscious Change is rare in the universe. At this point Conscious Change is as morally neutral as Unconscious Change, and wouldn’t it be nice if it stayed that way. Unfortunately, change brought about by sentient beings will always have a moral agenda, judged both by the instigator of the change and by those effected. So, Conscious Change is not only rare, but fraught with difficulties.
Our trip is a journey into Conscious Change – good luck to us.
There are too many forms of conscious change to name, but these include all human action, including accidents. The choice to be somewhere at any given moment comes from a path of decisions leading to that particular moment. Perhaps standing under that particular tree when Unconscious Change causes the tree to drop a branch. A simple scenario to illustrate how Unconscious and Conscious Change are embedded and entwined.
Accidental change is difficult to avoid, or even at times unavoidable. That is a part of the vagaries of life. Whether or not a situation was avoidable through prior decision making is entirely up to the people involved to decide. We can’t control the nature of all change. The world is dynamically changing around us and effecting us at every moment. That can be a scary thought if dwelt upon for too long. Lets not! We don’t wont to develop agoraphobia!
But we can control changes to our consciousnesses. Control over Conscious Change begins at home, inside our minds, our hearts and our guts, where we reside. The effects of our personal change spread from within ourselves, through our bodies’ action and out into the world around us. Perhaps we may even to find that seemingly detrimental accidental change can also be positive change (of course life is also open to happy accidents) when our perspective permits it.
Personal Change, the control over our own decisions and actions, individually and en masse, is the power that is available to all of us. The power we each own to change the world around us, locally and globally, through our everyday decisions – each of us is part of the human group and we can steer our group decisions through our personal choices. Awareness of the effects of our choices can steer our path of personal change.
Until now evolution could be said to have been part of the Unconscious Change of the universe. But now we have the knowledge, power and means as a species that evolution has entered the realm of Conscious Change. Evolution is a physical force and operates through physical action, our actions as individuals determine our evolutionary actions as a species. The power to be part of making the best choices at a species level resides with each of us.
Presently we are not making species decisions but are being forced to live with decisions formed by a few wealthy families, operating through multi-national corporations, for self-serving purposes. All of us are effected by these decisions. Change is happening, but it is not good for us, and in the end is not good for anything on our planet.
I, for one, do not wish to support changes that are benefiting a few to the detriment of everyone and all else.
How can we re-gain control over our lives, and the human destiny?